How do I clean my shower screen?
Updated: Jun 3
Have you ever visited someone’s bathroom and noticed their shower screen was dirty? I’ll bet you wondered how they could leave it in such a state. It looks so unappealing, and you’re glad you’re not having a shower in this house!
Well, don’t be so quick to lay the blame, your’s might even be as bad. Shower screens become dirty very quickly unless you know a few handy steps to keep the shower glass sparkling clean.
Before we go any further, we just want to say that most shower screens aren’t actually made from glass. Although really expensive ones might be made from specially toughened glass, most are made from a synthetic plastic polymer that just looks like glass. Manufacturers use this because it’s cheaper than glass and easier to shape and work with. But more importantly, it’s safer because it won’t smash into hundreds of razor-sharp fragments if an accident occurs.
To make our life easier, we’ll be using the word ‘glass’ during this article, but remember, it might not be!
How does it get so dirty?
Let’s just think this through. You’re in a shower cubicle washing the day’s grime from your skin and hair. Perfectly normal, and nothing out of the ordinary.
Have you ever given a thought as to where the dirt, dead skin and soap scum end up? Yes, you guessed it, it’s splashed onto the shower screen and runs down to the tray before exiting via the drain.
So here’s the first point to remember. Your dirt goes onto the glass and runs down to the rubber seal. If you don’t rinse and dry these surfaces after use, a proportion of the muck will stay there and dry hard.
If you live in a hard water area, you have the added problems of mineral deposits on the glass and more scum produced from its chemical reaction with soap.
Your previously sparkling clean shower screen will end up streaked and looking dull. So, is it harmful and how do we clean a glass shower screen to keep it looking good?
Is the dirt harmful?
The simple answer to this is ‘yes’.
OK, we go into a bath or shower room to clean our bodies. But, if we don’t keep all the surfaces spotlessly clean, the shower spray only transfers the germs from us onto another surface.
Combine this with the fact that shower rooms tend to be warm and damp and we have the ideal incubator for all types of bacteria and fungi. Some of them can be quite harmful.
It isn’t only body soil that encourages germs to grow. The limescale deposited from hard water is also a perfect breeding ground for microbes.
If you have an older home, you might still have lead pipework or lead solder in your plumbing. Over time this harmful metal leaches out of the plumbing and dissolves into the water.
Chlorine is used to clean up domestic water and kill microbes, but high concentrations will aggravate asthma and other respiratory problems during a long hot shower.
Installing a showerhead containing a suitable filter will solve your problems with lead, chlorine, limescale and other unwanted substances (don’t forget that we at StoneStream® offer filtered showerheads and separate inline filters that’ll help clean up your domestic water and make it safe to use).
Prevention is the best way
Don’t let the grime build up in the first place and you can easily keep the glass shower screen clean.
It’s really simple, you just need to train your family to rinse and wipe clean the shower screen after every use. Buy a squeegee with a rubber blade, the type that window cleaners use. Keep it in the shower room so it’s really handy. After that, dry and polish the glass with a soft cloth. Don’t forget to wipe around the seals too.
Of course, preventing mineral-laden water from exiting the showerhead in the first place will help immensely. Showerheads with built-in filters are a worthwhile purchase if you have excessive particulates in your domestic water.
Use household products
You don’t have to buy expensive cleaning materials if you don’t want to. You already have plenty of materials in your kitchen. All you need is a bit of knowledge and common sense.
Do you know one of the best cleaning materials to keep your shower glass clean is ordinary dishwashing detergent? After all, it’s designed to cut through all manner of grease and grime so it should work a treat on your shower screen.
Squirt some onto a scrubbing brush or a cloth, add some water and apply the suds to the screen in a circular motion, taking care to cover the entire area. Afterwards, just rinse with fresh water and polish with a clean cloth.
Baking soda and vinegar
Sometimes, you might have stubborn mineral deposits on the glass, that can only be removed with an abrasive. Be very careful. If you use the wrong abrasive you might end up ruining your shower screen.
Ordinary household baking soda is just the job.
First, ensure the screen is wet. Then put some baking soda onto a cloth or sponge and scrub the screen’s surface. Don’t forget to clean the shower screen seal as well.
Next, put white vinegar into a spray bottle. Cover the screen with the liquid to neutralise the soda and finally, rinse with clean water.
Dry and polish the surface with a dry cloth.
White vinegar and kitchen towels
If you have really stubborn limescale attached to your shower screen, try this method.
Put some white vinegar into a bowl.
Soak paper kitchen towels in the bowl.
Stick them onto the glass until the entire surface is covered.
As the vinegar dries, you can put more soaked towels onto the surface or use a vinegar filled spray bottle to keep the towels damp.
Leave the towels for at least one hour.
Remove the towels and wipe off the residue.
Rinse and dry as normal.
Lemon juice and salt
Many shower screens have metal frames that become just as dirty, especially in their corners. In this case, you need salt as a sterilising abrasive carried in a slightly less acidic solvent. Let’s try lemon juice this time. Hopefully. after cleaning the frame the whole shower screen will be spotless.
Add one measure of lemon juice to two measures of salt. Mix it in a small bowl or egg cup.
Use an old toothbrush to scrub the mixture onto the frame. Don’t forget the corners.
Leave it for about ten minutes to loosen the grime.
Rinse with clean warm water and dry as usual.
Buy some cleaning cream
If you’d rather use something you’ve bought, get along to your local supermarket or hardware store and buy some shower cleaning cream.
A cheap one will do, doesn’t have to be expensive. Just squeeze some onto a cloth and wipe it across the entire surface. Don’t rub too hard, it’s not necessary.
One more warning. If you have a marble or other type of polished stone shower tray, keep the cream away from it.
When the screen is completely covered, wipe off with a damp cloth, but don’t scrub.
Dry with a dry paper towel until you have an evenly clean shower screen.
You can also use the cream on glazed tiles too. Just put the cream onto a cloth and spread as before.
Remember that baking soda, vinegar and salt can damage your skin if you have prolonged exposure. Always wear rubber gloves and splashproof spectacles when handling these.
Remember, always keep the shower glass clean
Although many properties have grimy shower cubicles or shower screens, it won’t take long to remove the bacteria and mould that thrive in dirty, warm and damp places. Try a few of these methods, buy a filtered shower head (or one of our hard water filtration kits), and clean your shower regularly to keep the shower glass clean and sparkling.
Don’t you owe it to your family’s health?